It will be a special night for several local sports personalities when the Kinsmen Club, 900 CKBI Radio and the Prince Albert Raiders honour the 2012 sportsperson, male athlete and female athlete of the year.
Graham Peterson is the male athlete of the year while Katelyn Lehner gets the nod in the female category and the group that formed the Friday Night Lights Committee will be feted as the top sportsperson.
Petersonâ€™s accomplishments in the past year are simply amazing. The 18-year-old graduated from Carlton Comprehensive High School in June and at the schoolâ€™s sports banquet he was named the most outstanding male athlete. Peterson was not only a force on the Crusadersâ€™ defensive unit in football, but he was a medalist in wrestling along with being the most valuable player on the North Saskatchewan Dragons rugby team. Peterson was also selected to play for Team North in the annual Senior Bowl and this fall he was red-shirted (practise roster) with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies.
Lehnerâ€™s resume is equally as impressive. The 17-year-old Grade 12 student at St. Mary High School has re-written the provincial track and field records at every level she has competed at and this past summer she participated in three different national championships: senior in Calgary, junior in Winnipeg and youth in Prince Edward Island. At the national junior event she placed second in the womenâ€™s heptathlon and it was just her second time competing in the seven-sport event. Lehner also competed at the Saskatchewan Summer Games in Meadow Lake where she collected gold medals in all five events she entered. Lehner is presently training for her senior year with the St. Mary track and field club and it is expected that numerous colleges in North America will be trying to recruit the star athlete, who is also gifted academically.
The Friday Night Lights Committee is the result of a tragedy, but also proves that dreams do come true. Just over a year ago, 15-year-old Max Clunie lost his life in a plane crash in northern Saskatchewan. At the time of his passing, Clunie was playing football with the Carlton Crusaders, but he had spent many years learning the sport in the River Riders organization. Max had always thought it would be nice to be able to play a game under the lights like they do in Saskatoon and to fulfill his dream, the committee spearheaded a fundraising campaign that brought lights to the Prime Ministersâ€™ Park facility. The committee, which consists of David Thorpe, Gord Broda, Mitch Holash, Rusty Clunie, Ian Jensen and Randy Emmerson, is being recognized for their efforts in seeing the project started and completed with the official dedication to take place this Friday when St. Mary and Carlton meet in the inaugural Canadian Tire Classic at Prime Ministersâ€™ Park.
The banquet to honour these spectacular people will be held on Nov. 3 in the Ches Leach Lounge at the Art Hauser Centre. To make this celebration even more memorable, former NHL goaltender and Canadian Olympic gold medallist Curtis Joseph will be the guest speaker.
Tickets for the event cost $100 each or a table of eight can be purchased for $650. All tickets are available at the Raider office or by calling 764-4263. Funds raised from the event will support both the Kinsmen Club of Prince Albert and the Raider Education Fund.